The Community Foundation of St. Clair County is currently experiencing a record-breaking year. We have already surpassed $5 million in grants to local nonprofits – compared to $2.8 million total granted in 2019- and it’s only October!
Granting started out strong from the get go, with a whopping $310,528 granted by February by five different committees (Main Grants, Blue Water Arts, College Access, St. Clair Based Funds and Youth Advisory Council) at their very first meetings of the year.
“We could tell that it was going to be a big year for granting very early on in the year” said Grants Committee Chair John Tomlinson.
The Foundation’s top two priority areas for 2019-2021 are Community and Economic Prosperity and College, Career, and Life success. With 65% of all grants, or $3,420,646.73, Community and Economic Prosperity has been the top focus area of granting so far this year. (See full breakdown below)
A large portion of the Community and Economic Prosperity granting was over $1.9 million granted for regional trails. Led by two Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation grants of $1.55 million for trails and $275,000 for renovations to Lighthouse Park and trailhead, the new funding provides a major spark for local efforts. Funding also included $147,500 in a trails maintenance grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
The second priority area- College, Career, and Life Success- supports organizations and programs helping people succeed, whether that means supporting high school graduates with traditional college scholarships or investing in programs that help people working to get their life back on track. This year over $470,000 was awarded in traditional scholarships, but that is not the only way the Community Foundation was looking to make a difference in people’s “Life Success”.
With the distressing effects of Covid-19 pandemic, overdoses around the United States were up 33% this year. To help combat this startling statistic, $10,400 was granted to the Blue Water Recovery Outreach Center (BWROC) to hire a staff member to help get individuals into recovery and back into the workforce. The College, Career and Life Success priority area also included $18,000 to the Athletic Factory for summer recreation, $20,000 to Difference Makers for after school programming, and nearly $140,000 projected in grants by our Complete Your Degree Program to help fund the financial costs of attending college as well address participants’ life needs.
Unsurprisingly, the third highest area of funding for 2020 was Covid-19 related grants. The grants were administered in two phases with phase one supporting frontline nonprofits focusing on emergency needs during the early months of the pandemic, followed by phase two grants addressing small business recovery and economic development.
2020 Year-to-Date Grants by Category
|YTD||Percent of Total Funding|
|Animal Related||$ 489.00||0.01%|
|Arts & Culture||$ 175,511.56||3.36%|
|Basic Needs and Human Services||$ 153,725.14||2.94%|
|College, Career, and Life Success||$ 820,427.29||15.70%|
|Community & Economic Prosperity||$ 3,420,646.73||65.47%|
|Education & Instruction||$ 48,551.09||0.93%|
|Food/ Nutrition/ Agriculture||$ 2,400.00||0.05%|
|Health: General & Rehabilitative||$ 74,832.76||1.43%|
|Nonprofit Capacity Building||$ 39,963.08||0.76%|
|Public Safety||$ 4,250.00||0.08%|
|Recreation/ Leisure/ Sport||$ 28,480.40||0.55%|
Other 2020 grants highlights:
The main grants committee helped support the upcoming building renovations to St. Clair County Child Abuse and Neglect Council with a $20,000 grant to help create more room for additional staff, as well as improve the soundproofing in interview rooms.
St. Clair Endowment Funds helped support Riverbank Youth Theater with a $25,000 grant. This was a very successful program that not only provided some socially distant live entertainment to downtown St. Clair, but also helped create foot traffic to nearby business and restaurants in the St. Clair area.
Bridge Builders Counseling looked to help their parents with an outdoor educational camp to help mitigate education loss during the current remote learning period. The Community Foundation helped support their work with a $5,000 grant.
These examples are just a quick glimpse of all the work the Community Foundation has done so far this year. Click here for a full list of all year-to-date grants.